Mortar Net Solutions: Mason Apprentice Scholarship 2020 Recipients

Mortar Net Solutions: Mason Apprentice Scholarship 2020 Recipients

Words: MASONRY Magazine 
Photos: Mortar Net Solutions

In our previous article in the June issue of MASONRY, we provided an overview of Mortar Net Solutions’ Mason Apprentice Scholarship Program and the goals that were set for this year. In this follow-up article, we’re back with an update of the 2020 recipients of Mortar Net Solutions’ Mason Apprentice Scholarship. We would like to congratulate the instructors and apprentices that were awarded the scholarship and thank Mortar Net Solutions and their partners for supporting the masonry industry. 

2020’s goal for the Mortar Net Mason Scholarship was to award 20 apprentices with scholarships, growing the recipient list from four in 2019 to 20 this year. The scholarships were announced in Myrtle Beach and South Carolina on June 29, 2020. This year’s recipients received a $350 scholarship and a high-quality tool bag equipped with more than $1000 worth of tools from partners and sponsors: Bon Tools, Kapro Tools, KNIPEX Tools, U.S. Tape, Prosoco, and Mortar Net Solutions. 

“As a dedicated supporter of the masonry industry, Mortar Net is proud to once again have the opportunity to provide aid and the essential tools to students who will one day be the future of our industry,” said Steven Fechino, Engineering and Construction Manager at Mortar Net Solutions.

Join us in congratulating this year’s students awarded scholarships: 

Steven Blakely, Snow Jr. and King, Norfolk, Virginia
Cyrus Brown, West Rowan High School, Mt. Ulla, North Carolina
Ray Fillon, Cantarella Masonry, Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Alberto Gomez, Local 8 Milwaukee, Chicago, Illinois
David Hernandez, Creative Masonry, Greenville, Tennessee
Jacob Hortan, Claiborne High School, Tazewell, Tennessee
Jennifer Key, Columbus Career and College Academy, Fair Bluff, North Carolina
Savannah Kunkel, Carroll County Public School, Westminster, Maryland
Logan Lane, Creative Masonry, Greenville, Tennessee
John Livingston, Wallace Community College Selma, Selma, Alabama
Preston McBee, Providence Grove High School, Climax, North Carolina
Jarod Norberg, Western Maricopa Education Center, Gilbert, Arizona
Nickolas Ortiz, Local 8 Milwaukee, Chicago, Illinois
Orlando Ortiz Jr., Local 8 Milwaukee, Chicago, Illinois
Austin Smith, Snow Jr. and King, Norfolk, Virginia
Jonathan Smith, Wallace Community College Selma, Selma, Alabama
Korbin Torres, Western Maricopa Education Center, Gilbert, Arizona
Isaac White, South Caldwell High School, Hudson, North Carolina
Jesse Wilkinson, Snow Jr. and King, Norfolk, Virginia
Shane Williams, Snow Jr. and King, Norfolk, Virginia          

“Mortar Net Solutions’ Mason Apprentice Scholarships is a great way to help support the up and coming generation of masons. The winners of these scholarships are at the top of their class and are very enthusiastic about the masonry trade, so at Cantarella & Son Inc. we are very proud to have Ray on our team.” — Paul Cantarella Jr.

With the excitement of the winners being announced, there were a few reaction videos created by some of the recipients. Paul Cantarella Jr. of Cantarella & Son posted a video of the award letter for Ray Fillion while on a jobsite. “Thank you Steven Fechino and Mortar Net Solutions for all you do for the masonry industry!”

The appreciation of the scholarship awards is overwhelming among the apprentices and that only shows the excitement to continue in the masonry industry. “I didn’t know how far I was going to be able to get in the industry, but thanks to the Mortar Net Solutions Scholarship I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” Jennifer Key explains. “They gave us everything we will need to do a job in the toolbag. I want to thank Mortar Net Solutions for the scholarship.” Jennifer is just one of the many apprentices who were awarded the scholarship. She was initially shocked to learn she was one of the recipients but is grateful for the opportunity to continue learning and being a part of the masonry industry. 

There is no age limit in being an apprentice, and this year’s recipients of the scholarship prove that as there is a variety of students young and older who benefited from this great opportunity. This year, Mortar Net Solutions set a goal of increasing the recipients of the scholarship program to 20 in 2020. Next year they’ve set the goal of 30 apprentice recipients in 2021, growth is key in both the industry and the opportunities that are out there for mason apprentices. 

Mortar Net Solutions’ Mason Apprentice Scholarship Program offers financial need-based scholarships to masonry apprentices during their apprenticeship. Winners receive tuition money, a tool bag filled with industry tools to help them grow in their careers. The scholarship requires instructors to be a member of the National Masonry Instructors Association (NMIA), and students must have at least one year remaining in their apprenticeship to be eligible.  

Instructors enter their selected apprentices for the scholarship via an online form and the winner is announced at NMIA’s annual conference. “It was an exciting opportunity to work with so many great instructors across the country, as well as our generous program sponsors who also did their part to make this all possible,” Fechino states. So if you know of anyone who can benefit from this helpful scholastic opportunity be sure to check out the form online at “We look forward to 2021 as we hope to further expand this great program!”

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